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Newly crowned Eve Gilles’ hair style has come under scrutiny, with some some objecting to her “atypical” look.
Newly crowned Miss France Eve Gilles‘ neat pixie cut, which stands in contrast to most contestants’ flowing locks, has set her apart with some online objecting to her “atypical” look.
After her victory in France’s biggest beauty pageant on Saturday, some online commentators called the haircut “disappointing” and her overall looks not feminine.
“Are you a Miss or Mister?” one commenter wrote under a post announcing her win on Miss France’s official Instagram account. Another said: “They absolutely want to eliminate classic feminine codes!”
Giles, who in addition to a shiny dark bob, has a pearly-white smile and big brown eyes, has her defenders and has drawn comparisons with actor Audrey Hepburn, who sported a short cut and for generations epitomized modern elegance and beauty.
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Former Miss America Mallory Hagan said it was disheartening for the conversation to be centered around how the new Miss France was choosing to style her hair.
“Many famous women, from Halle Berry to Charlize Theron, have had pixie cuts over the course of their time in the public eye,” she told NBC News. “I hate to see this conversation about her hair rather than a conversation about what she plans to do with this immense platform that she has been given.”
The pageant is watched every year by millions of people in France and is the oldest-running beauty contest in the country, according to the pageant’s website. Both a jury and viewers determine the winner from the contestants who represent different regions of France and its overseas territories.
On the streets of Paris, people also seemed to be supportive of Gilles.
“She is gorgeous and she is really gorgeous with her short hair,” Charlotte Cousson said. “I think that this controversy doesn’t make any sense at all because every woman can be beautiful with short or long hair.”
In reference to the furor surrounding her look, a spokesperson for Miss Universe issued a statement to PEOPLE.
“There is no one way to be Miss Universe or Miss France, and we embrace every look that comes across our stage. We represent the times, and being your confident unique self is the one thing we see being reflected in all of our winners,” they said.
The spokesperson also pointed out that at this year’s Miss Universe pageant — which saw Miss Nicaragua take the title — there were a variety of hairstyles on display amongst the contestants.
“We saw personal styles and hair of all types – and we love it! Short, long, curly,” the statement continued, adding that the new Miss Universe, Sheynnis Palacios, “has a shorter cut.”
The spokesperson also noted that this year’s Miss Ireland, Aishah Akorede, “made a statement by wearing her hair natural” at this year’s competition which took place last month.
While Gilles faced some backlash over her look, there was also a flood of online support.
French politician Sandrine Rousseau wrote on X, formerly Twitter, “So, in France, in 2023, we measure the progress of respect for women by the length of their hair?”
Fellow politician Karima Delli — who is also a member of the European Parliament — meanwhile shared a post calling Gilles “superb” and “intelligent for embracing her diversity” with her haircut.